Home > Parenting > Child > News 02 May 2013 Milk-allergy kids may be 'allergic to school' The milk protein casein is often used in low-powder chalk, which could trigger respiratory symptoms in students that have a milk allergy, a study has found. 0 iStock Related Many children eventually outgrow milk allergy Dairy and allergies: be alert Allergic children may tolerate warm milk ASK The Paediatrician » Follow Health24 on Facebook » Quiz Are you ready for a baby? » Subscribe Parenting newsletter » How to massage a new baby How to stimulate your baby Many of today's school teachers opt for dustless chalk to keep hands and classrooms clean. But according to a study published in the May issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), this choice in chalk may cause allergy and asthma symptoms in students that have a milk allergy.Casein, a milk protein, is often used in low-powder chalk. When milk allergic children inhale chalk particles containing casein, life-threatening asthma attacks and other respiratory issues can occur. "Chalks that are labeled as being anti-dust or dustless still release small particles into the air," said Carlos H. Larramendi, MD, lead study author. "Our research has found when the particles are inhaled by children with milk allergy, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath can occur. Inhalation can also cause nasal congestion, sneezing and a runny nose."Common allergy Milk allergy affects an estimated 300,000 children in the United States, according to the ACAAI. Although it has been believed the majority of children will outgrow milk allergy by age three, recent studies contradict this theory, showing school aged children are still affected. However, 80% of children with milk allergy will likely outgrow it by age 16."Chalk isn't the only item in a school setting that can be troublesome to milk allergic students," said James Sublett, MD, chair of the ACAAI Indoor Environment Committee. "Milk proteins can also be found in glue, paper, ink, and in other children's lunches."Even in the wake of whiteboards, overhead projectors and tablets, chalk is a classroom staple that likely won't become extinct anytime soon. Parents with milk allergic children should ask to have their child seated in the back of the classroom where they are less likely to inhale chalk dust, advises Sublett."Teachers should be informed about foods and other triggers that might cause health problems for children," said Sublett. "A plan for dealing with allergy and asthma emergencies should also be shared with teachers, coaches and the school nurse. Children should also carry allergist prescribed epinephrine, inhalers or other life-saving medications." EurekAlert More in Parenting Exclusive: corporal punishment is rife in Mpumalanga schools More: ChildNews advertisement Get a quote Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Diet and nutrition The state of hunger in South Africa Medical Survivor launches global cancer-fighting platform Lifestyle Banning lion hunting may not be the answer Medical DNA repair mistakes predispose people to cancer Fitness Heidi Klum and Matthew McConaughey's trainer coming to SA Fitness Exercises that bring out the best in your body shape From our sponsors Dehydration at a glance What could happen in the next 37 seconds? Fifty and fabulous! There’s something newly cool about turning 50 World Thrombosis Day 2015 Live healthier Make a change and get moving! » The dangers of blood clots Fit people live longer Exercise is key to health in old age How you can get moving Fee like a useless lump of laziness just laying on the couch? Fear not, there's hope for you! Here's how you can get active. Up for grabs! » To vape or not to vape? Twisp's new range of e-cigs Discover your Twisp Win one of the 3 new devices from Twisp! Now you can stand a chance of winning one of the 3 new devices, as well as flavours and accessories worth R2000 each!